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Politics & Government in the Social Age

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http://spiral16.com It’s no secret that web and social media monitoring can be useful for any business looking to monitor their brand or competitors, but how does this game-changing form of communication relate to politics and government agencies?
This presentation explores:
* How crucial social media monitoring is for tracking political campaigns
* How social media can be leveraged at all levels of government

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Politics & Government in the Social Age

  1. 1. in Presented by Tracy Panko, CEO – Spiral16
  2. 2. 3 The 2010 midterms marked a drastic shift in campaign strategy as both sides of the aisle have now embraced social media as a message channel. How does the ever-changing online space impact campaigns going forward? Bringing Affairs Of State Online
  3. 3. Bringing Affairs Of State Online The Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government was issued on January 21st, 2009, making it one of President Obama’s first official acts. What are the benefits facing agencies as they open the channels of communications to citizens? 4
  4. 4. “ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL” DIGITAL 5 Pew Internet & American Life Project (2010) Between 2000 – 2010, the adoption of online activity has climbed across every age-group. More and more users seek out their initial information online rather than the traditional friends and neighbors. The breadth of opinion and political orientation online means voters are more likely to find communities that correspond with and reinforce their existing beliefs. *Thomas “Tip” O’Neill (1985).
  5. 5. Social Media as a Message Channel 6 Campaign spending is typically dominated by targeted messaging and massive ad buys. Social Media presents a low-cost, high touch-point medium which campaigns can use to consistently reinforce their message and talking points to a far wider audience. After discovering the effectiveness of microblogs like Twitter for money-bomb campaigns, the GOP wholeheartedly adopted the platform for the 2010 campaigns as a means of connecting with voters and ensuring message discipline
  6. 6. Social Media as Influencer 7 Monitoring social media allows campaigns to identify or build hubs of influence from which they could coordinate official and un-official activism. Determining where information is being accessed helps campaigns to understand what influences the influencers and craft their responses accordingly. Understanding where online the influential information resides (and how it spreads) also allows campaigns to be flexible in how they respond to rumors or breaking scandals.
  7. 7. Measuring the Message 8 While the ultimate success of a campaign is measured by “50 +1” the various strategies and supporting tactics have traditionally been difficult to measure. Measuring social media allows campaigns to put metrics behind spends as well as understand how well they have (or have not) controlled the language of a campaign.
  8. 8. What’s Next for Digital Politics? Advances in geo-targeting and author identification will bring social media politicking from the national and state level to local politics. A combination of social CRM and comprehensive monitoring will allow campaigns to make bigger pushes towards early voting and higher voter turnout. As campaigns get comfortable living online, candidates will be focusing on recruiting and coordinating volunteer efforts as opposed to broadcasting and message control. 9
  9. 9. OPENING THE DOORS OF GOVERNMENT 10 “The three principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration form the cornerstone of an open government. Transparency promotes accountability by providing the public with information about what the Government is doing. Participation allows members of the public to contribute ideas and expertise so that their government can make policies with the benefit of information that is widely dispersed in society. Collaboration improves the effectiveness of Government by encouraging partnerships and cooperation within the Federal Government, across levels of government, and between the Government and private institutions.” - Open Government Directive (December 8, 2009) President Obama acknowledged a fundamental gap in the connection between citizens and their government with his Open Government Initiative. Just as businesses are rushing to embrace social media, so goes the federal government. While outreach has so far been most eagerly adopted by B2C brands and similar concerns, understanding how the government is approaching social media can show B2B businesses a clear path on adapting their own communication strategies to a changing landscape.
  10. 10. “All Roads Lead to Rome” 11 Government agency and department websites are typically the first destination for citizens seeking information, but historically those same sites have been SEO averse and difficult to navigate and discern the relevant information. “Mille viae ducunt homines per saecula Romam*” – Alain de Lille (1175) The challenge facing those agencies is both stepping outside the traditional homepage-as- interface method as well as ensuring that the flow of information is de-politicized or free of influence from appointees. So how are government agencies bypassing traditional points of contact to connect with citizens?
  11. 11. Reinforcing the Mission 12 To combat misinformation and an distrust around the 2010 census, the US Census Bureau utilized both traditional marketing and a variety of social media platforms to successfully educate the populace about their core mission. Now the opportunity exists to tap into that community to support their ongoing initiatives for the next 9 years.
  12. 12. Enabling Access 13 The FCC’s official website has long been considered one of “the worst homepages ever” with over 14,000 pieces of information buried under a byzantine maze of pages that are undiscoverable by search engines. Vital consumer and business concerns alike are lost in a sea of links. How can one of the most impactful agencies in the government open the doors to the information it contains?
  13. 13. Enabling Access 14 By redesigning the entire site to be consumer friendly, SEO standard compliment, and by focusing on accessibility not structure. In addition to making information easier to find and distinguishing between business and citizen concerns, the upcoming FCC site focuses on engaging with visitors to solicit feedback on real issues. Offering up API access to oft- requested data lessens resource impact and encourages participation.
  14. 14. Building Brand Evangelists 15 www.nasa.gov NASA has embraced Social Media as a brand-building and educational tool by: Partnering with the Steam© platform to deliver free science- themed games aimed at building enthusiasm over space exploration.
  15. 15. Building Brand Evangelists 16 www.nasa.gov NASA has embraced Social Media as a brand-building and educational tool by: Using Twitter to connect with enthusiasts. Rewarding lucky followers by flying them to Cape Canaveral to live tweet shuttle launches Helping NASA enthusiasts connect with one another
  16. 16. Fostering Community 17 The US Navy’s Facebook page acts as a bridge between • Active Duty, Reservist, and Navy Civilians • Family and friends of Navy personnel • Veterans and former Navy employees • Potential recruits • Navy enthusiasts Which in turn results in* • 7-20K Facebook interactions • 500-700 Twitter mentions • 2,500-3,000 visits to the NavyLive blog • 10-15K referrals to Navy.mil *“Managing Audience Engagement to Gain and Retain Public Involvement” - CDR Scott McIlnay (2010) Per week.
  17. 17. WHAT WE LEARN FROM SocMed CIVICS • Understanding where your constituents already reside is the first step in connecting communities to your brand and mission. • “Openness” and “transparency” are more than buzzwords. They build bridges between you and your potential markets. • Even decidedly traditional markets and initiatives can successfully utilize social media through a combination of clear strategies supported by measurable data. 18
  18. 18. Thank you from For more information, please visit spiral16.com or email contact@spiral16.com Special thanks to the organizers of Tracy Panko, CEO, Spiral16 @tracypanko